Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Craig Sheffer, Sheryl Lee, Terence Stamp, Casey Siemaszko, Spalding Gray
No Description Available. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: R Release Date: 11-FEB-2003 Media Type: DVD
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Member Movie Reviews
Wendy B. from MICANOPY, FL
Reviewed on 12/24/2010...
Truly one of the most intense & realistic movies I have ever seen. Whew.
An amazing, well-layered work of genius
Blake Kleiner | Troy, Michigan United States | 03/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joseph and Maria are about to be married. They are riding to the wedding chapel in separate limousines-black for him, white for her, of course. Joseph rides with his best friend, Tanner, confiding all those last minute wedding day jitters. Maria rides with her parents, feeling a little nauseous from her nerves. Her mother warns her not to get any vomit on her dress. They arrive at the chapel, and all that nervous tension fades when they look into each other's eyes at the altar. Everything seems just normal for this couple at the precipice of their life together.
Seven months later, Joseph and Maria are already feuding over obsessive behaviors, emotional disconnection, inadequate bedroom performance, and an unwillingness to start a family. There's trouble in paradise, and just when things couldn't get any worse, it appears as if Maria is seeing a local sex therapist by the name of Balthazar. This is what every man dreads: Not only is his wife sleeping with another man, she's paying him for it. Fantabulous.
So far, aside from the quick pace and attention to detail, "Bliss" seems geared to become a formulaic romance story about a troubled newlywed couple. But it is when Joseph and Balthazar first meet that the film shows its true colors, and becomes one of the most honest, emotionally wrenching films ever made about love, sex, and abuse. It strips us of the awareness that we are watching a movie as we become completely engrossed in these lives we care so much about.
As Joseph agrees with Balthazar that traditional therapy is not the answer to his wife's many psychological troubles, the heart of the film becomes the discussions between the two men. Brutally honest discussions about sex, love, and the secrets of all their pasts when they finally come to light in the climax of the film.
All the characters are played with award-worthy style: Craig Sheffer as Joseph is remarkably strong-willed, hinting very subliminally at the wounded man beneath. Sheryl Lee, one of the great actresses working in film, is so sympathetic as Maria, that even when we are disgusted at her choices in the marriage, we are still with her because we can sense something wrong beyond her control. The big role here, though, belongs to Terence Stamp as the sex therapist Balthazar. This is one of the great performances not nominated for an Oscar. Stamp, instead of simply making Balthazar an all-knowing caricature of a therapist, reveals himself gradually, and emerges as one of the most interesting, well-layered characters of the cinema.
"Bliss" is the only film ever made by writer-director Lance Young, but I pray to God that it is not his last. A first effort this astonishing deserves a worthy follow-up. Along with "American Beauty," this is probably neck and neck for my all-time favorite film. It's a film from the heart that goes for the throat, not for the prudish, and completely unforgettable."
T. Dierkens | Lompoc, CA | 08/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the best movies about love and marriage I've ever seen. The raw sexual energy jumped off the screen. Just when you think you know what the movie is about and where it's going, it takes you into a more intimate place, the minds of the two married people. Craig Sheffer is excellent and plays his part like a fine instrument. He has unbelievable potential as an actor. Sheryl Lee lays herself bare as she allows us to really know her character. Terrance Stamp was so convincing I thought he was a therapist through the entire film. Lance Young did a phenomenal job directing and he should have won some kind of an award. This is a movie that married people should watch together, without any distractions. It's a must-see."
Why isn't Craig Sheffer in more roles like this?!
P Stockwell | USA | 01/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is moving drama that explores the relationship of a young married couple just on the edge of crisis. Sheryl Lee is convincing in her role as Maria, the paranoid self-critical wife. Joseph, portrayed by Craig Sheffer (in his best role since "Norman Maclean" in River)is intense and loyal to Maria, although he has difficulty getting through to her, and knowing how to help his deeply troubled wife because Maria is dealing with issues buried deeply from childhood. Terrence Stamp, is wonderful as the colorful therapist "Balthazar", and the acting between the three main characters is complementary. Joseph learns more about himself as a man and as a husband through the course of the film, that he begins to understand the meaning of unconditional love, even if it means he might lose Maria. Great movie, raw emotion...why isn't Craig Sheffer in more roles like this!?"